Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it normal after your muscles have been tight to feel fatigued?"
I have TMJ, and yesterday my jaw muscles were super tight and now today they are tired? Is that just because they were so stiff and overworked from my clenching and now that they are relaxed they feel tired? I am waiting to get into my doctor next week to see what he says, just want a second opinion on how muscles work when they are keyed up and then relaxed?
Thanks for the question. What you are saying certainly makes sense, so I recommend that you speak with your doctor or dentist. Any muscle that is overworked will be more fatigued over the time that it is used. When the muscles are used continuously, in some cases, there is not time to remove all of the waste products that muscle cells generate when they are busy, and so this can cause some additional pain and soreness. The jaw is one area that can be especially prone to having problems with hyperactivity. In general, the teeth should not be touching. If you find yourself with your teeth touching throughout the day when you are not chewing, then it is best to practice TUTA: tongue up, teeth apart. This will help to avoid some of the long term problems that can come with chronic tension in the jaw. More than just the muscles of the jaw, the joint of the mandible, known as the temporo-mandibular joint, can become irritated and painful. Many people will have pain with TMJ that can be helped by a bite block or mouth guard that helps to keep the teeth from clenching. Either your doctor or your dentist may be able to help, so please speak with your healthcare team.
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